Massachusetts addresses ‘biomass loophole’ and limits subsidies

The new regulations followed a two-year review process

Massachusetts, which has made biomass a cornerstone of its green energy policy, is revisiting a “loophole” that may create more environmental headaches than it cures, writes Erica Gies for Forbes.

“But in addition to the obvious lag time to restore carbon neutrality, burning wood also has a less-than-desirable emissions profile. In fact, government and power plant data show that burning woody biomass releases 1.5 times as much carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour generated as coal, according to the Massachusetts Environmental Energy Alliance. Also, burning wood releases three times more carbon into the atmosphere than burning natural gas, per unit energy generated, said [Mary] Booth, [an environmental scientist with the Massachusetts-based Partnership for Policy Integrity].”

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